The Early Jurassic Talkeetna Volcanic Formation forms the upper stratigraphic level of an oceanic volcanic arc complex within the Peninsular Terrane of south-central Alaska. The section comprises a series of lavas, tuffs, and volcaniclastic debris-flow and turbidite deposits, showing significant lateral facies variability. There is a general trend toward more volcaniclastic sediment at the top of the section and more lavas and tuff breccias toward the base. Evidence for dominant submarine, mostly mid-bathyal or deeper (>500 m) emplacement is seen throughout the section, which totals ∼7 km in thickness, similar to modern western Pacific arcs, and far more than any other known exposed section. Subaerial sedimentation was rare but occurred over short intervals in the middle of the section. The Talkeetna Volcanic Formation is dominantly calcalkaline and shows no clear trend to increasing SiO2 up-section. An oceanic subduction petrogenesis is shown by trace element and Nd isotope data. Rocks at the base of the section show no relative enrichment of light rare earth elements (LREEs) versus heavy rare earth elements (REEs) or in melt-incompatible versus compatible high field strength elements (HFSEs). Relative enrichment of LREEs and HFSEs increases slightly up-section. The Talkeetna Volcanic Formation is typically more REE depleted than average continental crust, although small volumes of light REE-enriched and heavy REE-depleted mafic lavas are recognized low in the stratigraphy. The Talkeetna Volcanic Formation was formed in an intraoceanic arc above a north-dipping subduction zone and contains no preserved record of its subsequent collisions with Wrangellia or North America.

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